|Fall Walk on a warm afternoon...|
The woolly worm crawled across the dark pavement of the park path. His slow progress marked the close of the summer season. His wide bands of color are said to foretell a long winter ahead.
The fall season has arrived and the changes are evident everywhere. Colors of red, yellow, orange and brown seem to spring out overnight. Brisk breezes and scattered clouds are sure to encourage those who are behind in their preparations for winter. It is difficult to ignore the clues that nature gives us for the end of summer. In the meadows still green, a deer forages for food in preparation for leaner times ahead.
Wildlife in the suburbs have additional hazards that are added to their usual secluded lifestyles. Traffic lanes block their migratory ways, hunters seek them out, and the hustle of the human lifestyle causes them to seek peaceful secluded hiding places.
The geese form alliances and collect, feeding in the fields, and spending their nights in the many lakes and marshes. For many geese it is their first migration and their exuberant honking fills the air.
Soon they start their journey southward. The ducks follow their instincts and join the airways south. Hunters across the nation wait expectantly for them to pass. But for now the ducks can forage in peace in the abundant marsh vegetation. The water Lilies, the Duckweed, the algae form a mass of vegetation brimming with appeal to the webbed friends of the lake. To walk along a lake path and see the changes from little more than a month ago is exhilarating. It is also a reminder that nature is warning us all that tough times are to come in the days ahead.
The sumac have changed to red many days ago to announce the arrival of the fall season. Now the sumac leaves are turning brown, shriveled and some have fallen to the ground. The hardy ones cling to their fragile branches and contrast with the wild
grape vines strangling the brush along the pathway.
Cattails and wild oats add their meager coloring to the contrasts and vivid display.
The lake seems to be a deeper blue against the clear skies. The shores explode in color to display the best that nature has. The stark green of Pine, the red of the sumac, the purple of the Loosestrife, the yellow and red of the Maple, the yellow of the Linden and Ash shout a chorus of color in nature's amphitheatre.
Pathways wind through the woods, along freeway, over bridges, unto the meadows.
They wander west, east , left ,
right , or straight ahead and all directions
meandering in loops and divergent vistas.
A park bench appears but no one takes time to sit for the wind is brisk and urges you to continue your journey. Humans encroach on the display of autumn, strolling and chatting unmindful of the approaching bitter cold and snowy conversion to follow.
Edited Sunday, 22 August 2010